Cream colored card which says Juliet Stuart Poyntz, Jersey City, NJ at the top, with a quote next to a photo of her. The quote says "At her command the place learned to rise." She is a white woman with a pinned up hair style and wearing a high collared white lace dress.

The Disappearance of Juliet Stuart Poyntz

Throughout the spring and early summer of 1937, telephone operators at the American Woman’s Association Clubhouse in Manhattan noted that a man with a deep voice called daily for one of the residents, Juliet Stuart Poyntz. Poyntz took the calls every time, until one morning in June when she spoke with her mysterious caller and… Read more →

Who Was the Original “Welfare Queen?”: Review of Josh Levin’s The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth

How do you tell a story about a real-life, embodied individual who inspired a stereotype, without reducing her life to fit into the same trope you are trying to upend? How do you uncover the exception that proved the rule without reifying the label you acknowledge is pernicious? I’m not sure, and Josh Levin sure… Read more →

More Recent Articles

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Drawing dissection. The race to replace Viagra. An oral history of grunge food. Police violence and Stonewall. The dangerous game of croquet. The first Pride marches, in photos. The “brown babies” who were left behind. A history of the black market in human fat…. Read more →

“The Inflamed Egotism of Women:” Emma Simpson and the Limits of the Unwritten Law

Let me just admit it now—I’ve never listened to Serial.Or, rather, I never finished listening. Sure, I started it—after all, I did have an iPod, internet access, and a pretty NPR-happy social circle in fall of 2014—but I stopped after episode 1. Whatever it was that drew in historic millions of listeners, prompting critics to… Read more →

Photo of a family sitting on a couch around a table, on which a young boy is drawing. Two elderly people sit in the middle of the couch, flanked by two younger men, who are flanked by two younger women. Three young women stand behind the couch.

The Japanese Imperial Family Invented

In May 2019, as now Emperor Emeritus Akihito passed the Chrysanthemum Throne to his son Emperor Naruhito, the world watched ceremonies and rites that appeared to be the timeless observations of the world’s longest continuous monarchy. Much was written throughout the course of the transition period on the unprecedented aspects of both the Heisei monarchy… Read more →

Black and white photo of a fetus in a uterus.

This is Not a Culture of Life, This is a Culture of Un-Death

Last week at a Vatican conference on abortion, Pope Francis “argued that children who were not expected to live long after birth deserved to be treated in the womb ‘with extraordinary pharmacological, surgical and other interventions.’” He intimated that parents who did not use extraordinary measures were not caring for their children, saying that “Taking… Read more →